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Boost to Australia-PNG gas pipeline



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MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER

FA142 18 November 1998

BOOST TO AUSTRALIA-PNG GAS PIPELINE

One of Australia’s largest prospective bilateral commercial projects, the Papua New Guinea (PNG) -Queensland Gas Pipeline, has moved a significant step closer with the unanimous passing of the new Oil and Gas Legislation by the PNG Parliament on 16 November.

I welcome this encouraging step from the PNG Parliament towards what could prove one of our two countries’ largest ever joint ventures. The $3.1 billion project is expected to generate more than 5500 jobs in Australia and Papua New Guinea during the two year construction period and about 300 permanent jobs in the longer term.

The project could also generate significant investment opportunities for Australian and PNG companies. Fop-example, energy consuming projects already under consideration in the Townsville and Gladstone areas have the potential to create more than 2,400 permanent

positions with capital expenditure in excess of $5 billion.

As well as enjoying the domestic benefits from the increased availablity of natural gas and processed gas products, PNG will also benefit from the potential establishment of industrial developments by large scale energy users, and further regional development opportunities including the possible development of the Pandora gas field in the Gulf of Papua.

Much work remains to be done to bring the project to fruition but the decision by the PNG Parliament to pass the new legislation is a welcome reminder of the high priority the PNG Government attaches to this important commercial opportunity.

The Australian Government looks forward to continuing work with the PNG Government to advance the PNG-Queensland Gas Pipeline project.

Media Inquiries: Ministerial - Innes Willox (02) 6277 7500 or 0419 206 890 Departmental - Tony Melville/Kirk Coningham (02) 6261 1555

Media releases and sp eech es are available from DFAT via the internet. http://www.dfat.gov.au/